Sunday 22 February 2015

The Wonder That Was Bharatvarsha

The Wonder That Was Bharatvarsha

Written by Dr. Seshadri Kumar, 22 February, 2015

Copyright © Dr. Seshadri Kumar.  All Rights Reserved.

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No, this is not a review of the famous, wrongly-named book by A.L. Basham, in which he used the word India instead of the more correct Bharatvarsha. This is an attempt to educate modern Indians about the glory of their culture by revealing new insights that have resulted from the work of tireless researchers around the globe on the origins of civilization. And all roads of inquiry lead only to one conclusion – that the source of all civilizational greatness in the world is India.

For too long, India has been cast as the land of snake-charmers, tigers, and elephants. For centuries, westerners have mocked India for its backwardness. However, recent SCIENTIFIC discoveries have established that India was more advanced than any other country in the world in antiquity.

Join me as I reveal the story of hitherto unknown (or little known) scientists, who languish in their quiet academic environs because their momentous discoveries have not been given the credit they deserve. This article is a humble attempt to cast light on their collective greatness and the earth-shaking importance of the seminal work they have done.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did writing it. Anything that is good in the article should not be ascribed to me – for I am merely a messenger – it should be ascribed to the great scientists who have revealed so much for us to learn and whose work you are going to discover through this article.

So, without further ado, let me begin telling you about the recent momentous discoveries that have established, once and for all, why Bharatvarsha was the greatest civilization ever on the planet.

The IVC and the Aryan Invasion/Migration Controversy

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) is one of the oldest civilizations of mankind. Although there have been older human settlements on the planet than the IVC, the IVC can fairly be said to be the cradle of all civilizations because of the range and depth of the ideas it brought forth (this will be made clear in the following). This is the civilization to which modern India owes its existence. So it is meaningful to look at what this civilization was all about and what it has bequeathed us.

The IVC was first discovered in Harappa, now in Pakistan, with later discoveries in Mohenjo-daro, also in Pakistan, Lothal in Gujarat in India, and various other places. While initially these discoveries were greeted with great excitement, as it gave Indians a view of what seemed to be their antiquity, this fond hope was soon dashed when archaeologists investigated the artifacts in depth.

The reason was that India is largely a country of Hindus, with significant minorities that made their homes in India due to migration and conquest; but essentially, India was the land of the Hindus. The Hindu epics (itihasas) such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana spoke of an ancient civilization that Hindus held to be around 5000 years old. The discovery of the IVC gave Hindus a lot of hope that this was the proof of the ancient civilization they were looking for. Unfortunately, some key archaeological facts went against them – or seemed to at the time.

The Absence of the Horse

One key point of variance  was that the Hindu scriptures, right from the time of the Rig Veda, the most ancient scripture, spoke of “Ashvas” – that were translated as “horses” everywhere in the epics. The IVC carvings and drawings showed no evidence of any horses, though there seemed to be some strange one-horned animals drawn in the reliefs and tablets, in addition to identifiable buffaloes. See figure below for an example.